Gem Tang (Zebrasoma gemmatum)
Scientific Name: Zebrasoma gemmatum
About the Gem Tang
Species Type: Saltwater Fish
Category: Tangs & Rabbitfish
Care Level: Moderate. Healthy specimens are frequently available for purchase, but stress in shipping does sometimes occur. Will accept dried foods after settling in, but frozen foods or algae grazing sheets may be required initially. After proper quarantine and acclimation to the display, this fish is generally resistant to disease. An overall good choice for the new saltwater hobbyist.
Origin: Endemic to the Indian Ocean.
Compatibility/Temperament: The Gem Tang is rarely available in the hobby and commands a price tag of several thousand dollars. Those who have kept this fish describe it as a harmless community fish which needs lots of space to thrive.
The Zebrasoma genus of Tangs will not bother coral or invertebrates, however it may eat desirable marine algae. They are generally hardy after acclimated.
Individual species of Zebrasoma can display a wide range of behavioral differences in the aquarium, with some being downright nasty, and other mixing in well. The key to this is likely related to tank size and having a sufficient rock structure to break up territory.
Gem Tang Diet
Feed a diet rich in vegetable matter including frozen herbivore foods, dried seaweed, or live macro algae. Freeze dried algae sheets should be offered daily.
Reaches up to 8'' in length. They are a fast growing fish and should be kept in aquariums capable of sustaining their adult size.
Minimum Tank Suggestion
Ideal water parameters for Gem Tang
Marine fish are highly sensitive animals with very specific care requirements. Most all saltwater species will require similar water conditions, designed to replicate that of natural seawater. Ammonia and nitrite levels should absolute zero, temperature at 76F to 80F, and salinity at 1.024 to 1.026. Although some fish are tolerant of lower levels of Nitrate, the goal in every aquariums should be to keep Nitrate as close to zero as possible, and certainly under 20ppm. Finally, maintaining a stable pH of 8.0 to 8.4 is desired. Achieving this is made easier by monitoring alkalinity, which should be kept at 8-12 DKH, and calcium, which is targeted at 400 to 460ppm.
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